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SSD or Velociraptor - need advice.

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March 18, 2009 8:32:56 AM

Hello all

I am currently choosing parts for my new PC build and I have trouble figuring out what would be the best solution performance wise. I do not need a lot of space and a 150 GB or 300 GB Velociraptor would actually be enough for me but after reading how fast the new SSD are I was wondering if that would be a better choice for me.

I only use my PC for gaming (NFS Undercover at the moment) and net surfing but I do a lot of recording while gaming and later compressing and uploading to youtube. I was thinking that maybe installing a smal SSD drive and install the game I currently play on that and then install a HDD like the Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (or anyone for that matter) as storing for FRAPS while playing. Would that be a better solution for me?

I have read all about how fast the new Intel X-25 SSD is but I think that it is a lot of money to pay at the moment and wondered if any other SSD would do the job nearly as good without the price tag.



Maybe some of you have better ideas to my currently choices as well....


Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R SLI (still something that I am investigating)

Memory: OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Processor: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling S75CF 750W EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified

Graphics card/s Gefore 260 (Core 216) SLI


I hope you will help a newbie on this community with these questions.. in advance thank you. Note english is not my 1st language...


Poul



March 18, 2009 8:42:36 AM

SSD's are velociraptors are overpriced, I wouldn't get either. Get a couple of those 640gb WD drives you mentioned and run raid 0 or maybe the WD3200AAKS and raid 0. You will get just as much speed out of that. SSD's are a new technology and not really mature yet, and the price of them is just outrageous. If you are worried about data security get another cheap drive for backup. You will have more storage space at a lower price and get similar performance.
Related resources
March 18, 2009 4:36:19 PM

I'm building a system and considering a raptor too for my OS.
I'll have 3 more independant drives for Music, Video and Files

The 300GB raptor is about $200 after rebate right now.
The SSDs are just not big enough
The RAID idea is good too, but I don't need to add yet another drive to my rig and having to buy 2 drives for RAID makes the cost closer to the raptor, albeit for half the drive space, but double the case space
March 18, 2009 7:14:45 PM

FWIW, I have finally decided to get a 1TB Caviar Black and then, maybe in a year get a decent SSD once prices drop and capacity rises to the point where they are practical.

If you have the money, the OCX Vortex sounds like a worthwhile SSD and is a bit cheaper than the Intel ones. It is much faster than a velociraptor and not that much more expensive (although with a lower capacity) so it may be a worthwhile option with a high capacity 7,200rpm hard drive for storage.
March 18, 2009 11:06:47 PM

Hey

Thank you to all for your comments. Actually I still have no idea if it would be better performance wise to buy a SSD like the one Siggy19 is talking about. Buying one of those and use it for my OS and install the most played game and a WD Cavial 640 32 MB cache for storing I had hoped would mean a better gaming performance.

Are you guys sure that a RAID 0 with the WD Caviar 640 would be a better solution? I have read a lot about SSDs but there seem to be very few benchmarks concerning gaming. Do any of you have any links?

Tthank you again for taking your time to try to answer a newbies questions.

Poul
March 18, 2009 11:21:41 PM

Awesome link MRFS - thanks.

Poul
March 19, 2009 4:26:59 AM

Sorry to post after the fact but, I was in your same dilemna and went with a WD Caviar. After going through benchmarks and such, I couldn't justify 250% markup to load a Crysis map 1 second faster. Something I always have to relearn when adjusting to new technologies every year or two when I do an upgrade is that every new shiny piece of hardware, may not always be the perfect suit for you (even if it's marketed to you, or seems like it would be).

If I was doing 10-15 5GB encodes a week, I could justify the Raptor to myself, but I know I'm not. I may unrar a 5 GB file every few weeks, I may encode a DVD once every week or two, and although I do like HDD intensive games (MMORPGs and the like), again 250% markup, for 1 second of load time & half the storage space (not having a packed hard drive would slow you down worse then a second at the rate it fragments).

You got a great HDD in the end though, so don't feel bad :)  I'm also looking to move to a small size SSD in about 1.5-2 years when they're a bit more practical, re-write issues have been addressed, and prices have come down a bit. THEN I'll use my WD Caviar as my second internal storage device, and I'm sure it won't be terribly shabby for that purpose at that point.
March 19, 2009 9:21:50 AM

Quote:
[You got a great HDD in the end though, so don't feel bad I'm also looking to move to a small size SSD in about 1.5-2 years when they're a bit more practical, re-write issues have been addressed, and prices have come down a bit. THEN I'll use my WD Caviar as my second internal storage device, and I'm sure it won't be terribly shabby for that purpose at that point./quote]

I will actually go buy a 30 GB SSD from OCZ ( Vertex series) and use it as my OS drive and add an additional WD Caviar 640 GB 32 MB cache for storing. After reading the link provided by Siggy19 I have no doubt that most of the problems with SSD has been dealt with and that the OCZ Vertex series is a great choice for those who wants to jump the wagon right now and are on a limited budget. You can always buy more SSDs as prices drops and use them in a RAID.

Poul
March 19, 2009 9:25:30 AM

Sry. It was MRFS who provided the link.
March 19, 2009 10:20:31 AM

The Raptor is a great drive and you'll like the performance. ..and if you need a bit more get a 2nd one and put in in RAID0. The drives are super reliable and you'll have nearly 600GB of RAID0 space, should you decide to go that route. As long as you're doing backups (which are critical RAID0 or not) you'd have nasty-fast storage.
March 19, 2009 1:13:12 PM

SSDs are in a beta stage right now. Without OS support (Maybe with Windows 7, probably SP1 or later) and without a trim command, i wouldn't buy them unless they are really cheap.
To be honesi i wouldn't even sugest buying a SSD after that. From a technical point of view they are simply not ready.
March 19, 2009 1:32:16 PM

I've seen benchmarks where a SSD was 30% faster than the Velociraptor at reading but 30% slower at writing. I guess it depends on your usage. If it's for something you write once and read a lot (such as installing a game once and playing it often) then the SSD is better. If it's for something like compressing a video and watching it, then the Velociraptor is better.
March 19, 2009 5:26:35 PM

what about for playing zoo tycoon?
March 19, 2009 5:36:28 PM

I think the SSD would be better there. Even if the game saves often while you play, it's not going to be huge files. It will be small files, and the SSD is better at writing those because it doesn't need to find the right track and wait for the right sector and so on. The Velociraptor wins only at writing large files, and games don't normally do that.

March 19, 2009 5:41:54 PM

Writing is the main problem for SSDs but it is not a huge problem in practice if you have a dedicated (hard disk) data drive... there just isn't all that much that needs to be written normally. The only problem with this theory is the Virtual Memory. The solution is perhaps to go with 12GB of memory and not have any Swap File at all.

I'm not convinced by a dedicated TRIM command... what I want is for there to be a little process running on the SSD that erases deleted pages when the SSD is otherwise not being actively used. This should provide the same benefits of the TRIM command without the need to actively administer it.

Beyond that, I think that a nice shiny new i7 with 4870 is going to be so much faster than my current machine (my laptop runs a Pentium M with a 6800, but my desktop is so old that it still uses 168 pin PC-100 SDRAM) that I don't much need the extra boost of a REALLY fast hard drive.

I'm going to get the i7-920, 6GB RAM, a 4870 with 1GB and the Caviar Black and, when I want some extra performance, I can get some combination of overclocking the CPU, an extra 6GB of RAM, a second 4870 and/or an SSD. By waiting, I allow the joys of technology deflation to work for me. It would cost maybe $600 now to do all those upgrades, but next year they'll probably cost half of that.

For me, that is the real benefit of the i7 build... it has so much scope for performance upgrades in the future that I can see it being useful for at least 5 years.
March 19, 2009 5:48:45 PM

aevm said:
The Velociraptor wins only at writing large files, and games don't normally do that.


The SSD is crippled by writing too many small files since it can only replace a page at a time. Once it has written over the whole disk, it then needs to erase pages before it can write over them and this is the thing that is really slow.

Basically, for writing large files, the bandwidth of the interface is the real issue... 10% faster or slower is no big deal.

SSDs excel at reading random data and can do this a thousand times faster than any hard disk. When starting up the PC or running a game, an SSD can do this in perhaps 5 seconds when it might take a hard disk 15 seconds or more... That's noticeable. Taking 2 hundredths of a second to write a chunk of data instead of 1 hundredth is not noticeable.

SSDs simply FEEL faster.

But, to me they are still too expensive and unproven to be worth getting at the moment.
March 19, 2009 11:46:05 PM

Again thanks for helping me and maybe someone could help me decide whether the Tagan BZ 700 W piperock is a OK PSU for my system build. I might add that I will be installing a Geforce 260 (core 216) and later on go SLI.

Link: http://www.tagan.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=...

I have read all about how great the Corsair 750 and similar PSUs are but I came across this one searching for parts and it sure looks cool and has modular cable management with colorful housing to avoid wrong connection.

Poul
March 20, 2009 12:25:17 AM

[quoteIt's good for one GTX 260. For two of them,][/quote]


Hey

Tomshardware tested the power consumption of 3 SLI Geforce 260 (core 216) and that peaked at 760W under full load. That was under heavy overclock of both CPU and GPU. Are you telling me that running only 2 Geforce 260 in SLI would not be possible with a 700W power supply that has a maxed combined Vvoaltage of 680W?


Test System Configuration

CPU
Intel Core i7 920 (2.66 GHz, 8.0 MB Cache)

Overclocked to 4.00 GHz (BCLK 200)

CPU Cooler
Vigor Monsoon III LT

2x 2000 RPM 120 mm Fans (Stock)

Motherboard
EVGA X58 3X SLI (P/N: 132-BL-E758-A)

Intel X58/ICH10R Chipset, LGA-1366

RAM
3.0 GB Super Talent DDR3-1333 CAS 8

Overclocked to DDR3-1600 CL 9-8-8-16

3-Way SLI Graphics
3x EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 S.E.

626 MHz GPU, GDDR3-2106

2-Way SLI Graphics
2x EVGA GeForce GTX 280 (Overclocked)

654 MHz GPU, GDDR3-2338

Hard Drives
3x Samsung Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ RAID 5

1.0 TB, 7,200 RPM, 32 MB Cache

Sound
Integrated HD Audio

Network
Integrated Gigabit Networking

Case
Cooler Master Stacker 830 Evolution (Black)

Power
Silverstone OP1000 Evolution

ATX12V v2.2. EPS12V, 1000 W, 80 A +12 V Rail

Optical
LG GGC-H20LK 6X Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM, 16X DVD±R

Additional Fans
2x Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F 120 mm 1,600 RPM

Software

OS
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit SP1

Graphics
NVidia GeForce 180.48

Chipset
Intel INF 8.3.0.1016

March 20, 2009 12:28:49 AM

Its just that the Corsair PSU is priced fantastically, you're paying very little to move up 100W or 200W in power for one of the best performing PSUs on the market. You know when people say 'save your money. build 2 mid-range systems for the same money in 2 years'? The point is that PSU would prolly still service you well then, whereas the other won't.
March 20, 2009 12:44:32 AM

drakleon84 is it because you never heard of Tagan you reply like that?

This PSU has in fact 4 independent rails which could be combined into one super rail of 80A.

Remember prices in the U.S are not the same when you live in Europe. In general prices on hardware are much lower in the U.S and this is priced like the Corsair 750W but has the 4 independent rails and modular cables.

I do not know much about PSUs but it seems to be better than the Corsair....

Poul
March 20, 2009 12:49:44 AM

I keep missing the mention of when people are building outside of US, so excuse me.
March 20, 2009 12:57:31 AM

drakleon84 said:
I keep missing the mention of when people are building outside of US, so excuse me.


LOL - I am not sure I even mentioned that, but I live in Denmark. It is sometimes a bit frustrating to see the prices on some really great stuff linked compared to what I have to pay for it.

I will buy the 800W model Tagan offers to be on the safe side.

Poul
March 20, 2009 1:19:16 AM

Tagan is a reliable brand, no worries.

The recommendations from nVidia (or ATI, or manufacturers like BFG) tend to calculate the PSU in such a way that it's used at 70% at most. Of course, then they look too large compared to what's actually measured at the wall in reviews.. However, it makes sense. A reviewer may run two cards for an hour or so successfully on a small PSU, and doesn't care if the PSU is close to 100% and running hot and noisy. You on the other hand want a PSU that can run in the 50% to 70% range where the fan is slower, the noise is low, the efficiency is at maximum (which means the heat is lowest). Also, PSUs tend to lose some power in time due to capacitor aging.
March 20, 2009 2:21:43 AM

Ideally you should get a PSU that would be under 70% load when your system was fully loaded in order to keep efficiency up and heat low to increase the life of your PSU. The Corsair is a better PSU than the Tagan, but the Tagan is a decent PSU too, if you want modular though its a good choice.
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